3 I am a man who has suffered greatly.

The Lord has used the Babylonians

to punish our people.

2 He has driven me away. He has made me walk

in darkness instead of light.

3 He has turned his powerful hand against me.

He has done it again and again, all day long.

4 He has worn my body out.

He has broken my bones.

5 He has surrounded me and attacked me.

He has made me suffer bitterly.

He has made things hard for me.

6 He has made me live in darkness

like those who are dead and gone.

7 He has built walls around me. I can’t escape.

He has put heavy chains on me.

8 I call out and cry for help.

But he won’t listen to me when I pray.

9 He has put up a stone wall to block my way.

He has made my paths crooked.

10 He has been like a bear waiting to attack me.

He has been like a lion hiding in the bushes.

11 He has dragged me off the path.

He has torn me to pieces.

And he has left me helpless.

12 He has gotten his bow ready to use.

He has shot his arrows at me.

13 The arrows from his bag

have gone through my heart.

14 My people laugh at me all the time.

They sing and make fun of me all day long.

15 The Lord has made my life bitter.

He has made me suffer bitterly.

16 He made me chew stones that broke my teeth.

He has walked all over me in the dust.

17 I have lost all hope of ever having any peace.

I’ve forgotten what good times are like.

18 So I say, “My glory has faded away.

My hope in the Lord is gone.”

19 I remember how I suffered and wandered.

I remember how bitter my life was.

20 I remember it very well.

My spirit is very sad deep down inside me.

21 But here is something else I remember.

And it gives me hope.

22 The Lord loves us very much.

So we haven’t been completely destroyed.

His loving concern never fails.

23 His great love is new every morning.

Lord, how faithful you are!

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is everything I will ever need.

So I will put my hope in him.”

25 The Lord is good to those who put their hope in him.

He is good to those who look to him.

26 It is good when people wait quietly

for the Lord to save them.

27 It is good for a man to carry a heavy load of suffering

while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone and not say anything.

The Lord has placed that load on him.

29 Let him bury his face in the dust.

There might still be hope for him.

30 Let him turn his cheek toward those who would slap him.

Let him be filled with shame.

31 The Lord doesn’t turn his back

on people forever.

32 He might bring suffering.

But he will also show loving concern.

How great his faithful love is!

33 He doesn’t want to bring pain

or suffering to people.

34 Every time people crush prisoners under their feet,

the Lord knows all about it.

35 When people refuse to give a man his rights,

the Most High God knows it.

36 When people don’t treat a man fairly,

the Lord knows it.

37 Suppose people order something to happen.

It won’t happen unless the Lord has planned it.

38 Troubles and good things alike come to people

because the Most High God has commanded them to come.

39 A man who is still alive shouldn’t blame God

when God punishes him for his sins.

40 Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living.

Let’s return to the Lord.

41 Let’s lift up our hands to God in heaven.

Let’s pray to him with all our hearts.

42 Let’s say, “We have sinned.

We’ve refused to obey you.

And you haven’t forgiven us.

43 “You have covered yourself with the cloud of your anger.

You have chased us.

You have killed our people without pity.

44 You have covered yourself with the cloud of your anger.

Our prayers can’t get through to you.

45 You have made us become like trash and garbage

among the nations.

46 “All of our enemies have opened their mouths wide

to swallow us up.

47 We are terrified and trapped.

We are broken and destroyed.”

48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes.

That’s because my people are destroyed.

49 Tears will never stop flowing from my eyes.

My eyes can’t get any rest.

50 I’ll sob until the Lord looks down from heaven.

I’ll cry until he notices my tears.

51 What I see brings pain to my spirit.

All of the people in my city are suffering so much.

52 Those who were my enemies for no reason at all

hunted me down as if I were a bird.

53 They tried to end my life

by throwing me into a deep pit.

They threw stones down at me.

54 The water rose and covered my head.

I thought I was going to die.

55 Lord, I called out to you.

I called out from the bottom of the pit.

56 I prayed, “Please don’t close your ears

to my cry for help.”

And you heard my appeal.

57 You came near when I called out to you.

You said, “Do not be afraid.”

58 Lord, you stood up for me in court.

You saved my life and set me free.

59 Lord, you have seen the wrong things

people have done to me.

Stand up for me again!

60 You have seen how my enemies

have tried to get even with me.

You know all about their plans against me.

61 Lord, you have heard them laugh at me.

You know all about their plans against me.

62 You have heard my enemies

whispering among themselves.

They speak against me all day long.

63 Just look at them sitting and standing there!

They sing and make fun of me.

64 Lord, pay them back.

Punish them for what their hands have done.

65 Cover their minds with a veil.

Put a curse on them!

66 Lord, get angry with them and hunt them down.

Wipe them off the face of the earth.


About New International Reader’s Version (1998)

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.


Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society.

All rights reserved.

The NIrV text may be quoted for non-commercial usage in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio) up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without the express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.

Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page of the work as follows:

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION™. Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

When quotations from the NIrV text are used in non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initials (NIrV) must appear at the end of each quotation.

Any commentary or other Biblical reference work produced for commercial sale that uses the New International Reader’s Version must obtain written permission for use of the NIrV text.

Permission requests for commercial use within the U.S. and Canada that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Ave. S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530.

Permission requests for commercial use within the U.K., EEC, and EFTA countries that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Hodder Headline Plc., 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, England.

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